This webpage is a guide to the natural areas of Long Beach, CA. It will eventually include surrounding communities, such as Lakewood and Signal Hill, creating a little box bounded by the 710, 605, 91, and the Pacific Ocean. In the future, I may expand beyond these boundaries to San Pedro and Seal Beach, or maybe further up the San Gabriel River.
Although Long Beach is densely urban, and as far as possible from the mountain wilderness escapes most Angelenos enjoy, there are quite a few places to enjoy nature within our city limits. Like a modern day Mesopotamia, Long Beach is nestled between two of the great rivers found in southern California: the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers. These two rivers have sculpted and shaped our geography, which has given rise to diverse ecosystems. Habitats found in the City include salt marshes, coastal sage-scrub, oak woodlands, chaparral, freshwater marshes, ponds, streams, coastal bluffs, and (of course!) our wonderful--but much maligned--beach.
I will attempt to visit as many parks in Long Beach that contain significant natural areas, describe access, history, and things to look out for. In addition, I will describe the flora, fauna, geology, and ecosystems that make Long Beach what it is.
Note: This blog is a draft for a forth-coming online guide to the natural areas of Long Beach. It is not meant to be read linearly, so ignore the dates on the posts. "Old" posts will be updated frequently, I hope!
The map above shows the parks included in the guide (bright green markers). The photo and park name are linked to the page describing that park . (If you have problems, you can also navigate using the links in the side-bar, or the list at the bottom of the page.) Parks marked in lighter mint-green will eventually be included in the guide. Parks marked in red are limited access; most can be accessed by coordinating with environmental groups, like the Audubon Society's El Dorado Chapter.
If you know of a great spot I've missed, email me (email@example.com) and let me know!
Natural areas in Long Beach
Parks (public access)
The Long Beach Greenbelt
El Dorado Park
Long Beach City Beach
Golden Shores Preserve
Marine Stadium Marine Reserve
Jack Dunster Marine Reserve
San Gabriel River Parkway (in Lakewood)
LA River Estuary (coming soon)
Domiguez Gap (coming soon)
Alamitos Bay/Naples Canals (coming soon)
Parks with limited access
Cha'wot Nature Preserve (Signal Hill)
Sims Pond Biological Reserve
Los Cerritos Wetlands (coming soon)
Natural history of Long Beach
Flora and Fauna of Long Beach
Habitats of Long Beach
Geology of Long Beach
Learn more, do more
Things you can do to help
Environmental organizations in Long Beach